The evolving world of power Opportunities and challenges


a combination of energy efficiency measures and renewable power generation could deliver 75 percent of the required emissions reduction over the next two decades. greenhouse gas emissions must be dramatically reduced. It is now widely accepted that global temperatures must be limited to a maximum of 2°C above preindustrial levels if the effects of climate change are to be held to an acceptable economic. World Energy Outlook. offices and factories. is due in significant part to man’s activities. The evolving world of power 3 . Unless changes are made. by 2030. to end-use in our homes. Improving the efficiency of this energy chain remains the most cost-effective way of lowering consumption and emissions. While increasing demand for power is a reality. global electricity consumption will be close to 30. 2009.1 That’s more than twice the amount used in 2000. social and environmental cost. Approximately 80 percent of energy is lost in the chain from primary harvesting of resources such as oil and gas.Balancing the need for power with minimum environmental impact Global demand for energy is rising fast. There is mounting evidence that the rise in global temperatures. Concern for the environment is now high on the global agenda and governments around the world are mobilizing resources to fight climate change. 1 International Energy Agency. and demand for electricity is rising even faster. Meeting this kind of demand would mean building a one gigawatt power plant and its associated grid infrastructure every week for the next 20 years.000 terawatt hours a year. which began during the industrial revolution. climate change is also a serious cause for concern. To achieve this goal. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

based on existing technologies. the power sector could play a major role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating improvements in energy efficiency and integrating renewables. Industry consumes over 40 percent of the world’s electricity. substations Process control Energy management Smart buildings Energy savings are available across all of ABB’s market segments 4 The evolving world of power . wind and solar. lowering global emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. and make better use of renewable energy sources. Major reductions in carbon emissions can come from the development of renewable energy sources such as hydro. we can reduce environmental impact and costs. managing distribution networks more intelligently and using electricity more productively.2 +40% ABB solutions. Energy losses can be reduced by 20-30% using ABB solutions Primary energy Transport Generation T&D Industry Commercial Residential Standard losses Reduced losses Available energy Improved well efficiency Efficient vessels More efficient fuel combustion Low line losses.4 20. can reduce losses at each step in the energy value chain by 20-30 percent.4 28. World Energy Outlook 2009. These sources will reduce our long-term dependence on fossil fuels. can reduce losses at each step in the energy value chain by 20-30 percent.9 +76% Energy-related CO 2 emissions 45 Gigatons (Gt) 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2007 2015 2030 28. Clearly. The same benefits can come from reducing transmission losses. substation efficiency Improved productivity Building management Home automation 20-30% improvement Process control Marine Power plant automation Grid systems.5 40.World electricity demand Terrawatt hours (TWh) 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2007 2015 2030 16. Source: International Energy Agency. ABB solutions.8 34. If we can generate power more efficiently. based on existing technologies. and more than 40 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions are produced by fossil-fueled power generation.

The power sector will play a major role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by integrating renewables Opportunities and challenges 5 .

Source: International Energy Agency. the result is that CO2 emissions in 2050 are contained at half the level of 2005. biofuels. The grids must be able to manage their unpredictable and intermittent nature.000 4. which are close to centers of demand.000 12. electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells. which are often located far from centers of demand and may be subject to the vagaries of the weather.000 6.000 Gas Coal 10. Since electricity networks have evolved over the decades to transport electricity from predictable and controllable generation sources.000 Nuclear 14. the increase of renewables will bring a set of new.000 Hydro 18. though not insurmountable challenges and the grid will need to evolve.000 2. Renewable energy sources are expected to make a major contribution Global electricity production (TWh/y) 20.000 16. economies of scale and advances in technology are bringing prices down and making the environmental benefits ever more attractive. But renewable power sources.000 8.While the cost of renewable energy is generally higher than that of conventional alternatives. will need to feed into electricity grids.000 Oil 0 Tidal Geothermal Biomass. Waste Solar CSP Solar PV Renewables (IEA Blue Map Scenario)1 Other Wind Hydro 1990 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 1 Blue Map Scenario is a combination of high efficiency. 6 The evolving world of power . and accommodate an increasing share of small-scale and distributed generation sources at the same time.

whole new systems will be needed to serve consumers as living standards rise. more automated and intelligent. enhancing capacity and improving reliability. while maintaining the required levels of grid reliability in the coming decades. But the introduction of information and communications technologies to our grids has increased the need for cyber security. There will also be more focus on ensuring power quality and reliability to avoid power fluctuations and failures. 2050 compared to 2007. The evolving power system will have more long-distance transmission links and more grid interconnections. and billing systems. the utility management and control systems of the past were inherently difficult to compromise and a “security by obscurity” approach prevailed. through increased automation and greater deployment of energy efficiency technologies to ensure we make the best possible use of our infrastructure and our resources. power systems need to become more effective and efficient. At ABB. efficiency and security of electricity supplies. The power system of the future will be more flexible and interconnected. In the past. leading to the evolution of a stronger and smarter grid. which will accommodate remote renewables and facilitate efficient energy trading. Stability will be enhanced by enabling generators to share power during periods of low demand. This convergence will deliver the sophisticated automation systems needed to support the many growing complexities. while lowering environmental impact. but in the future. additional control systems are required to ensure that the grid’s systems will function correctly. Across the world. utilities and consumers. demand management will require the active involvement of power generators. By their nature. balancing our growing need for power with environmental concerns. Another key development in the management of the evolving power network is the convergence of information (IT) and operational (OT) technologies. grid expansion and renovation will be required to ensure the reliability. which strengthens the link between software systems used to control the network and the physical infrastructure of the grid. Energy and renewables could deliver bulk of CO2 savings 45 40 57% 35 30 25 20 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 20% 10% 10% Energy efficiency Renewables Biofuels (3%) Nuclear CCS* *carbon capture and storage Reference scenario 450 policy scenario1 1 Energy-related CO2 emissions reduced by 50%. The advent of electric vehicles will also have an impact on the development of the future grid – key aspects that need to be addressed are the charging and energy storage infrastructure. we remain committed to the development and deployment of technologies to help our customers to be more competitive by increasing efficiency. consumption will also need to be controlled. to address the challenges and opportunities of balancing our growing need for power with environmental concerns. without interruption by external influences. Opportunities and challenges 7 . Source: International Energy Agency. electricity supplies simply followed demand patterns. To ensure a balance between supply and demand. and elsewhere. Alongside the benefits these technologies bring. The power system of the future will be more flexible and interconnected. as more renewable power is incorporated into the system. helping to meet shortfalls in neighboring systems.Annual emission of CO2 in gigatonnes In many regions. World Energy Outlook 2009. which include faster fault detection and resolution.

help transport power and connect transmission grids over land. HVDC Light. efficient. switchgear. 8 The evolving world of power . intelligent Energizing and controlling power plants Power plant operators aim to run their installations at the highest possible level of efficiency. Power transmission ABB is a pioneer and market leader in technologies for efficient and reliable transmission of power over long distances with minimal losses. circuit breakers. Our ultrahigh and high-voltage solutions up to 1000 kV. reliable. Specialist automation systems protect and optimize the flow of power within a substation. ABB offers technologies for complete electrical and automation solutions as well as controls and instrumentation products for power generation plants of all kinds.and medium-voltage products that ensure reliability and efficiency in the power system. These include surge arrestors. With more than 125 years of experience and a vast installed base. protection equipment. Substations Transmission and distribution substations use a range of high. and transformers. including technologies like HVDC. FACTS and cable systems. underground and even underwater. regardless of the energy source.ABB techologies enable the flow and control be more flexible.

Services With unparalleled domain expertise. switchgear. ABB’s global installed base coupled with its vast portfolio facilitates life cycle support across the power value chain. distribution and traction transformers as well as a complete range of medium voltage products .of electricity for power networks to and environmentally friendly Managing the network Network management software products and systems collect. improving energy efficiency and lowering environmental impact. Products ABB’s product offering across voltage levels includes circuit breakers. repair and refurbishment to complete maintenance and asset management solutions. store and analyze data from thousands of points in a network. SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and utility communications enable real-time monitoring and control of power generation. ABB’s offering encompasses the entire range of services. power.enhancing reliability. instrument transformers. transmission and distribution systems. as well as industry and rail networks. from consulting. Opportunities and challenges 9 title 9 ABB Group profile | chapter . Systems like network solutions. capacitors.

automation.ABB’s offering across the power value chain Energizing and controlling power plants More than 50 percent of the total investment in power infrastructure goes to the generation sector as we continue to add capacity. which help customers to reduce transmission losses. maximize efficiency and improve grid reliability. the renewables sector is growing and will play an important role in the global transition to a low-carbon economy. For these reasons. With an extensive offering portfolio that includes electrical balance of plant. Although power generation around the world will continue to depend heavily on coal and other fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. especially in the emerging economies. instrumentation and control systems we offer products. ABB pioneered HVDC (high-voltage direct current) technology more than 50 years ago and has supplied more than half of the world’s installed HVDC capacity. systems and service solutions that help optimize performance. 10 The evolving world of power . HVDC is also widely used for grid interconnections. ABB is a leading provider of integrated power and automation solutions for all types of power generation plants. enhance efficiency and minimize environmental impact through the entire lifecycle of the plant. HVDC technology is designed for high-efficiency power transmission via overhead transmission lines and underground or submarine cables. which can deliver electricity from remote generation sources to consumption centers. improve reliability. Power transmission ABB has a comprehensive offering of alternating and direct current transmission systems. It has lower losses and a smaller footprint than traditional high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) transmission systems. and is able to stabilize intermittent power supplies that might otherwise disrupt the grid. it is the technology of choice for longdistance transmission projects.

cost and environmental impact associated with the construction of new generating facilities and transmission lines. It is used to overcome limitations of distance and grid incompatibility. ABB Group profile | chapter title 11 Opportunities and challenges .HVDC Light®. ABB has a unique in-house manufacturing capability that includes semiconductors. to mainland grids. The portfolio includes high-performance XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) insulated cables for high efficiency transmission systems at voltages up to 500 kV. while ensuring robust performance and minimal electrical losses. is ideal for linking offshore installations. reducing the time. ABB has delivered more than 7. accessories and services for a range of applications from medium. ABB is a global leader in FACTS technologies and has more than 700 installations in operation or under construction around the world. The environmental benefits of HVDC Light ®.while maintaining or improving the system’s reliability. FACTS technologies also boost transmission efficiency. improving services and revenues. reducing waste. When it comes to transmission grid solutions. By improving efficiency. FACTS solutions can alleviate the need for capital investment. By enhancing the capacity of existing transmission infrastructure. a system based on ABB’s classic HVDC technology.000 km of XLPE cables for voltages in excess of 100 kV for projects around the high-voltage AC and DC systems. ABB also offers a comprehensive range of land and submarine cables. such as wind farms or oil and gas platforms. include neutral electromagnetic fields. oil-free cables and compact converter as much as 50 percent . FACTS technologies help to deliver more power to consumers. cables and complete converter stations. relieve bottlenecks and can be used for the safe integration of unpredictable power sources such as wind and solar into the grid. FACTS (flexible alternating current systems) technologies improve power quality and can significantly increase the capacity of alternating current transmission lines .

which provides a common framework for substation automation and facilitates interoperability across devices and systems. gas. distribution and utilization of electricity – enabling efficiency. transmission. intermittent sources of renewable energy. gas and water). from deserts and mountains to offshore rigs and crowded city centers. reliability and power quality. district heating.Substations Substations are key installations in the power grid that facilitate the efficient transmission and distribution of electricity. transmission and distribution. This provides real-time control and monitoring functions and helps to maximize the availability. up to 1. feeding power from generating stations into the grid and providing the link between transmission and distribution networks as well as end consumers. as well as software solutions for central electricity markets and mixed utilities (electricity. the open communication standard. With the recent addition of Ventyx. ABB has a unique portfolio comprising an end-to-end software offering in addition to a comprehensive range of operational technologies .and hybrid insulated substations. ABB has successfully delivered projects in all kinds of environments. ABB’s offering is compliant with IEC 61850. Managing the network ABB’s network management and utility communications solutions monitor. reliability and safety of ABB’s substations. As the world’s leading supplier of air-. ABB products. efficiency. The standard also facilitates multivendor integration and substation extensions. They perform the vital function of monitoring and controlling power flows. as well as enterprisewide data integration for efficient power system management.a valuable combination for the development of smart grids. They ensure the reliability of electricity supplies and enable real-time management of power plants. control. distribution networks. ABB’s substation offering covers a range of voltage levels. transmission grids. realtime pricing and load-management data. 12 The evolving world of power .100 kV. operate and protect power systems. Network management systems are a key smart-grid component enabling highly automated power systems to incorporate and manage centralized and distributed power generation. systems and service solutions facilitate the generation. and energy trading markets. ABB’s offering includes control and protection systems for power generation.

power quality and efficiency in the distribution network. modular systems and equipment for distribution automation. efficiency and quality of power supplies with minimum environmental impact and enable the safe transmission of power at high voltage levels. Products are also available for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to incorporate into their own installations. instrument transformers.100 kV. Opportunities and challenges 13 .and dead-tank circuit breakers. ABB’s medium voltage portfolio includes switchgear. gas. ABB high-voltage products are supported with a full-range service portfolio. from offshore and industrial facilities to urban and rural locations. power capacitors and surge arresters. all supported by a global service network. live. to extend the life of existing equipment and improve performance.and hybrid-insulated switchgear solutions. This includes air-.Products ABB offers a spectrum of high-voltage products at ratings up to 1. ABB’s medium-voltage technologies play an important role in maintaining stability. The products are built to withstand the rigors of the most demanding environments. These products enhance the reliability. The products serve new project installations and retrofit or upgrades.

Transformers are an integral component of the power value chain. as well as refurbishments and upgrades. and a range of environmentally friendly products including high-efficiency amorphous core transformers and transformers using biodegradable vegetable oil.000 distribution transformers every year. ABB is also the world’s leading transformer service provider. With 30 service centers. from power plants. and ultra low-sound transformers for noise-sensitive environments. the world’s most efficient subsea transformer (which can operate at depths of up to 3.000 meters). performance optimization and routine maintenance. ABB’s transformer technology achievements include the world’s first 800 kV DC bushings. through transmission and distribution systems and substations. reliability and durability.000 power transformers and 500. As the world’s leading manufacturer of transformers. to end-user applications. 14 The evolving world of power . ABB produces over 2. It addition to setting new records in terms of power ratings. ABB pioneered the development of commercial transformers in the late 19th century and has continuously improved its transformer technology in terms of efficiency. ABB has also developed high-efficiency distribution transformers that can reduce energy losses up to 70 percent. installation and commissioning. Services ABB’s service portfolio includes design and consulting.

mainly carbon-based and controllable power generation to more distributed. delivering power more efficiently and with lower environmental impact. the ability to manage demand patterns and balance supply with demand is improving as the power system adapts to a multi-directional energy and communication flow. reliable and smarter grids. we have corporate research centers in different parts of the world. in Europe. With a 125 year heritage of technology and innovation and a presence in over 100 countries. We are moving from a centralized. reliability. Monitoring systems are becoming more sophisticated and able to handle complex functions. This transition brings challenges in terms of renewable integration. ABB continues to shape the grid of the future. With a 125 year heritage of technology and innovation and a presence in over 100 countries. Our engineers and developers are working to maintain a constant flow of ideas and improvements that will enable us to meet the needs of today and tomorrow. India and China. delivering power and productivity for a better world. through sustainable business practices and environmentally sensitive products. and power quality. efficiency. From harnessing and integrating renewables. The power sector is currently witnessing the most significant changes in recent history. ABB continues to shape the grid of the future. systems and service solutions cover the entire value chain from generation. more intelligence and the ability to manage power networks effectively. Conversely. The use of information technology to improve the intelligence of power systems is increasing. planning and enabling demand management to preparing the grid for electric vehicles. the United States. reliability. ABB technologies are addressing the challenge of balancing rising demand for power with increasing concern for the environment. This evolution will bring flexibility. transmission and distribution through to end use. ABB products. ABB offers a vast portfolio of power and automation technologies and remains committed to helping customers to do more with less. less predictable and less controllable elements that include a larger portion of low-carbon energy sources. In order to maintain our industry-focused expertise and understanding of customer needs. delivering power and productivity for a better world.The evolving world of power Delivering power and productivity for a better world ABB constantly strives to enhance efficiency by optimizing power generation and providing reliable power transmission and distribution. to software solutions for energy forecasting. ABB technologies are playing a central role in the optimization of electricity generation and the evolution of more flexible. Opportunities and challenges 15 .

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